Often Small Businesses have many factors working against them. Not only are you competing with big businesses who dominate the market, with their big budgets and devil may care attitude. But you are also competing with other Small Businesses for your share of the pie. So what can you do differently? Perhaps you have heard the term Guerrilla Marketing, perhaps not? If you are willing and are feeling creative, this modern phenomenon could be a marketing tactic to include in your strategy. If executed correctly, Guerrilla Marketing can generate visibility without needing to spend all your coins.
This is an advertising concept designed for businesses to promote their products/ services in an unconventional way. Guerrilla Marketing is appealing to Small Businesses as it often does not require a huge budget to back it up. Instead, it just requires high energy and imagination. Often a kind of publicity stunt to increase brand visibility, Guerrilla Marketing goes against the grain of traditional marketing with the focus of grabbing the audience’s attention at a memorable level. And this is why Guerrilla Marketing is so appealing to marketers, it is different, it is loud, it is in your face if done correctly.
The first question you need to ask before you invest your time into Guerrilla Marketing is, is it actually suited to my business model? There is no illusion that the major trade-off for this marketing tactic is a high time investment. So before you begin to plan, ask yourself if you can see your business benefiting from this creative outlet? Again, as mentioned in How to be an Expert in Small Business Marketing, the first stage of any marketing strategy is knowing your business inside and out. Know your product or service, know your customers and know your direction. It is also important to consider that the results of Guerrilla Marketing can be difficult for you to measure and therefore determine the success of the tactic. This is due to the unpredictable nature of Guerrilla strategies compared to for example digital marketing.
Guerrilla Marketing is special and if you believe that it is suitable for your business, you should definitely implement it! Take a look at the following Guerrilla Marketing Ideas:
Guerrilla Marketing is definitely a distinctive point of difference from your competition. If you are inspired and imaginative then Guerrilla Marketing can give you an edge in the marketplace and even help you break into the industry.
People can become suspicious of some forms of Traditional Marketing. Your audience begins to zone out when they start to hear a sales pitch and if you are a Small Business this is not the reaction that you are looking for. Guerrilla Marketing is looking to engage with the audience and promote your brand without directly selling.
Guerrilla Marketing gives your brand a platform for creative liberty. Traditional Marketing you can be restricted by a time frame, an ad dimension, a restrictive medium. With Guerrilla Marketing your only limit is your own imagination. Take the time to brainstorm and really think about how to showcase your brand in all its true colors.
Yes, we hear you, go big or go home. Of course, the biggest question mark hanging over Guerrilla Marketing is the potential for your Marketing tactic to go beyond your local environment and even go viral! Getting brand exposure through the power of the internet would be the penultimate for any Guerrilla Marketing campaign. Although, this would not be normal circumstances and would require a great deal of planning, timing, and luck. Stranger things have happened. Viral Marketing would circulate your brand message faster than perhaps advertisement that you pay for in the traditional sense. And this is perhaps one of the biggest allures of the phenomenon.
Brand Image is not something which you can just whip up with a few late nighters, a couple bottles of wine and a long weekend. Brand Image is something that you build with time, consistency and unwavering direction towards a common goal. And it is not just something that you yourself as the business owner implement. It is executed every single day, by your staff, on your website, by your choices. Every time an employee puts on their uniform they are representing your brand. And every time that you send an email to your database, you are conveying your brand. All these tiny, seemingly meaningless actions are sculpting your brand image. And if the picture is good, this will be your best brand marketing tool ever.
As mentioned above, Brand Image is not a quick fix flash in the pan. It is an amalgamation of all the encounters and experiences that your customers and target audience are having with your brand at this present time. Positive experiences will drive your customers to repurchase, recommend to your audience and become your best advocators. This is something that you will actively work towards every day for the longevity of your brand. Brand Image is a subtle blend of strength and strategy. Implement a consistent brand strategy while flexing those marketing muscles will see you underway.
The truth is, a lot of businesses (possibly your competitors) do not think about creating a brand image until there is a problem with the one they are creating. The appeal of creating a good brand image is that it makes a lasting impression.
Call it superficial but the way that your employees talk, dress and interact with your customers says a lot about your brand. Think of a bad customer services experience you have had. Did it make you feel disappointed? Did it back you up and make you avoid the business altogether? It is important when starting a new employee to give them an induction where you talk about the brand, the way they are expected to behave when representing the brand and the consequences if these requests are not met. Remember the old saying the customer is always right? Well, my boss would always tell me, often between clenched teeth, the customer is always the customer. Presentation is not dead. People enjoy those little experiences.
I’m sure you can spot the golden arches from a mile away, I’m sure you could recognise those white apple headphones anywhere. These Brands did not build their image overnight. But they sure did build them through time with consistency. If you do not put effort into maintaining a consistent brand image, then your brand will not be recognisable.
Imagine walking into Tiffany and Co and all the staff is just wearing whatever they wanted. One girl is wearing some cat pajamas and the door staff has a beer hat on with a straw in their mouth. What does that look like to you? Chaos. A polished brand can show that you didn’t just start your business yesterday on a whim. It shows you are thoughtful, that you have had success, that you are organised which will reflect on your products/ services to follow. Even just starting with a personalised email address and website URL. A business card which is up to date.
If you continuously blend your brand image with your brand strategy, whether it be the freshest produce is the most efficient service, that will reflect for your customers. The more often that you can deliver your product/ service in correlation with your brand promise, the easier it will be for your customers to remember who you are and what you stand for.
If you do not know how to build your ideal brand persona, read our blog. Once you have identified your key audiences, you can begin to understand your ideal customer. Your brand persona should appeal to your ideal customer, it should relate to them. It can be helpful to create a style guide highlight your tone of voice, imagery, and personality to ensure this is executed consistently.
Content is the fuel that drives marketing activities. To elevate your brand profile, you’ll need to deliver a steady stream of content. Content does not always mean blogs and podcasts. Content can simply be what you do and do not choose to post. Your website, your infographics.
Using Social Influencers and thought leaders to promote your brand is not new (think about Justin Timberlake singing McDonald’s famous slogan), but with the rise of Social Media and this idea of instant gratification, it has become a valuable addition to a brand strategy.
So, the questions is, is a Social Influencer something you could use in your brand? Well, the obvious benefit of Social Influencer marketing is earning exposure through the influencer’s network. Having an influencer market your product is an enjoyable content marketing experience which your audience will like consuming, sometimes without their knowledge. Also, having an influencer builds credibility for your product/ service. Influencer marketing can show your product in action. This is also a great idea for products which are new to the market and have some level of user knowledge behind them.
If you believe an influencer could be for you. We have put together some key points to consider before you take that next step in your brand marketing.
In the not too distant past, a lot of influencers were not being transparent about their paid partnerships which were a big no-no. To avoid this, make sure your influencer is disclosing any piece of paid content that they are doing for you. Avoiding any legal troubles can be as simple as putting #ad or #sponsored at the end of their post. Instagram has responded to this trend by having an option for influencers to state explicitly above their post that this product/ service they are promoting is in collaboration with your business.
I’m sure I say this time and time again with any form of marketing strategy your business chooses to pursue. Meet your audience where they are spending their time, not where you think they are spending their time. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Instagram may be where you see the majority of the Social Influencers using the #ad sponsorship. While Instagram is the top influencer platform of 2018 and is likely to be for 2019, think about your brand persona and where they would most likely be spending their time. Is it YouTube? Pinterest? Take the time to think like your customer and meet them on the social platform where they are spending the most of their time. Because Influencers are getting a lot of sponsorships to put their posts on Instagram, it is likely to drive up the price. You may save yourself some money by researching what platform your brand persona is likely to use.
Use Influencer Marketing Tools to find your right fit. Finding an appropriate influencer is perhaps the biggest challenge in determining whether your strategy will spread its wings and fly, or flop. Heres a simplified example of what the process could look like if you do it the traditional way:
While this process can still work, there are far more marketing tools out there designed to facilitate this relationship and find the perfect fit for your brand. Take some time to look through these Influencers tools. This will not only save you time, ensure you find a better fit for your brand but it can also help you measure the return on investment from this sponsorship.
Any Marketing activity that you are doing, paid or not, should be measured! I cannot stress this enough. So many businesses just blindly put their feelers out and throw cash into the darkness but never know if it was worth their resources. That needs to end here. Everything that your business does in terms of Marketing needs to be measured in some way. Many tools offer analytics, so take advantage of those and treat them as your best friend.
A good way to see if you’re influencer is increasing your sales is to give your influencer a unique promo code. That way, each time a customer uses the promo code you can directly attribute that revenue to the influencer.
When designing your post with your influencer in mind, try to create useful content, not ads. Let’s move away from your influenced just holding your product and saying they loooooove it so much and use it every day. Instead, let’s be more creative and try to catch the attention of who you are really out there marketing towards. In 2018, your posts should look less like generic ads and more like content marketing which is aimed at adding genuine value to your consumer’s lives. Read our blog on creating content marketing for more ideas. Great marketing doesn’t make your audience feel like you are trying to sell a product. Great marketing is natural, it’s engaging and its thought invoking. Brands can tend to lose sight of this when they are working with influencers, believing that their thought leader can carry the product and make the sales pitch more forgiving. Do not be that brand. So take the time to think about the message you want to convey and make the suggestion to your influencer.
Ok, let’s turn your thinking on its head here and consider that maybe your brand could become an influencer. Now, this is a way to shift the phenomenon in your favor. And while this certainly doesn’t work for every brand, it definitely has seen a lot of brands rocket very quickly to the top. Let’s think back to Marketing 101, where a product is being introduced into the marketplace, not as a new product but a product with a different approach to its marketing strategy. This products/ services take the angle of a price premium, experience brand. To become a brand that is both the trend and that is the social influencer itself needs, your branding needs to be bulletproof. Often the Trend Influencer focuses on one product and one service instead of a range of products as it is easier for the consumer to recognise.
Let’s look at some famous brands that have seen this hype. Think of the Kardashian Waist Trainer craze which happened recently. Corsets are certainly not new, but the product was marketed in such a way that it was coming to market with a different approach. The corset was traditionally used to give the wearer and tiny waist which was the style when they were predominantly worn. But these Waist Trainers were marketed as a product which is used during a workout to achieve an amazing hourglass figure such as the Kardashian women. This is a fantastic example of the Social Influencer being the trend itself. The product was not unique but the approach was. To name a few more, At home Teeth Whitening Kits, Hair Masks which double the length of your locks, Skin Hair and Nail gummy bears.
These are all brands which have influenced a trend and have found stardom by attracting influencers to them. These Influencer Brands have played on basic human psychology and the fear of missing out. Influencers want to be associated with this brand because it will boost their status and following. To start here you will need a new to market product and a few influencers to start with and the most impenetrable branding.